Market Researchers Resources The 2018 Guide to Qualitative Research Methods

Infusing Creativity into the Qualitative Market Research Process

Welcome to the new research reality!

Budgets have been slashed, researchers are asked to do more in less time, and clients are pushed to make recommendations on the spot.  How can we navigate this new business reality while preserving the richness provided by thoughtful qualitative research?

The answer lies in infusing creativity throughout the research process.  Here’s how:

Recruit strategically: Look outside standard facility databases and newspaper ads to net better, faster recruiting.  Go where the target is.  Recruit outside Urban Outfitters for edgy, independent young women interested in trends and fashion.  Go to OB/GYN offices and maternity shops for nervous, first-time moms.

Get out of the group room: Go to schools, community centers, bowling alleys, bars, beaches, etc., to make the discovery process more natural for respondents. And give the client team a chance to become part of the process rather than sedentary consumers of M&Ms!


Doyle Research Associates Assign homework: Photo-journals, audio/video diaries, visual collages, and storytelling help consumers bring their thoughts and feelings to the surface.  Pantry, handbag and garage checks highlight the realities of daily living.  Homework assignments can also serve as a great leave-behind for client teams to reference.

Turn analysis on its ear: Ask the team to employ “brainwriting” during the research.  Take Post-It notes and “brainwrite” ideas, thoughts, questions, concerns, inconsistencies, anything!  Capture all these notes on easel sheets.  DRA’s post-research Team Navigation process is designed to sort the notes and analyze the learning.

Breathe life into deliverables: Consider creating a short presentation of audio/video clips, pictures and homework assignment collections.  Sometimes hearing opinions directly from consumers can have more impact on upper management than a traditional written report.

Creativity takes work, but it also makes the research process more enlightening (and fun!) for the entire team.

“I have used Doyle Research on numerous occasions, and have found the team to be knowledgeable, creative in recommending solutions for qualitative that works, able to turn on a dime when we needed it. We’ve had solid results and some highly insightful analysis that opened business partner eyes to some things they didn’t know but needed to.”

Consumer Insights | DeVry University

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